I found myself in South Carolina for the first Sunday in autumn. Rain was coming down softly and gently for the fifth day in a row. I woke up early like I do so often and eased my way into the day all by myself while I waited for the rest of the house to begin their stirring. My brother answered his phone with that rough morning voice of his saying that he wasn't quite ready to face the day just yet.
My Dad got up and turned on the TV for the weather report. We really wanted to go hiking but it turned out that the rain was going to keep us from my beloved mountains. After the news, there was a snippet with some footage of the leaves changing somewhere in New England. In that moment I knew that I wanted to go take some pictures of my own before the day was over.
We headed to my Grandparents' house to spend the day with them. We listened to stories of days gone by, sat in comfortable silence, and tried to figure out what we should do with the day. When the rain eased up a bit, I announced that I was going to go take a picture walk. My brother and his dog came along and then we were joined by my Dad and Grandpa too. We walked through the pasture and down towards the lake before the rain started up again. We waited it out in the cover of the trees testing out my brother's new ear muffs and plinking a few cans. We came across a frog that had seen better days on our walk up the driveway. And then we headed back down to the house where I challenged my brother to a few games of backgammon. For a day we were kids again with nowhere to be and no goodbyes in sight...
The day was rainy and gray and the sun was shining in my heart! The ache of missing is deep, but memories are a real gift from God. I hold onto the sunny days like that first Sunday in autumn where memories are made. When I do, their light shines through. God puts us in families for a reason and I'm so glad for the all the love that flows through the souls He has placed into my life.
Tell me about a memory of yours that reminds you of the gift of family that God has given you. I'd love to hear about it!